New Priest is here! For us resiliant Arena players, the Lightforge Tier List has been updated to include the new Priest basic/classic set cards. The upshot is that Priest now have a more powerful and more consistent set of cards, on par with the classic Arena powerhouses of Mage and Rogue. And if there is a theme to these buffs, it's TEMPO TEMPO TEMPO! Overall, I am personally very excited about these changes for how Priest functions in the Arena. As one of the most dysfunctional Arena classes in classic, this was a long overdue but wonderfully executed direction adjustment for the Priest. Looking forward for the reworks of other classes (cough Warrior cough)! 😉
Buff Package is Amazing. A slew of buffs and new cards were added to take advantage and help with owning the board. Temple Enforcer (112 –> 136), Holy Nova (170 –> 186), SW:Death (134 –> 155), Kul Tiran Chaplain (131), Power Infusion (128), and Scarlet Subjugator (100) all work together to create a LOT more support for a tempo based build, taking advantage of more buffs, and Priest's hero power heal. The losses of Divine Spirit will not be missed in the arena, and even the nerf to Power Word Shield provided a tempo buff. No longer will Priest be primarily a control class in the Arena. While buffing one card and adding two low premiums do not seem like huge changes, these Basic/Classic cards will be in every single rotation and are good enough to usually be picked when offered. It will set the backbone of the new Priest.
Control is Improved. While control did lose out on Holy Fire (111), it gained quite a bit more power. First, there are minor tempo buffs to Holy Nova and SW:Death above (which still helps control, though not as much as tempo), and also to Shadow Madness (96 –> 112). Then, there are straight up power buffs to Holy Smite (110 –> 144) and the new epic board clear Shadow Word: Ruin (99). Shadow Word Ruin itself is not much to be excited about, as its power will rarely be fully realized in the Arena, and it is an epic card so will be rarely seen and unable to rely on being offered in the draft. Note that most of the power here is from better tempo, so even control is being pushed in Priest to be more tempo-oriented. If you are hanging mana anyway, the extra mana is not that important. If you are squeezing out every mana, the extra mana will be invaluable. So, even the control Priest in the Arena will be pushed to be more on the board and more "normal" in playstyle than it was before. While many control cards were buffed, the pure control archetype itself has been actually weakened.
More Card Generation. Finally, Priest has lowered the cost of Thoughtsteal (101 –> 129) to provide a serious buff and added Psychic Conjurer (121) to provide additional card generation support. This will not have a large impact on the arena, as card draw in arena functions similarly to card generation without the ability to create highly synergistic decks like in constructed. Psychic Conjurer, while a good card, is still a rather small card, and Thoughtsteal's buff is tempo-related. Priest's overall card advantage power is about the same as it was before, which is good, because it was doing quite well in that regard already in the Arena.
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See you in the arena!
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